Thursday, May 20, 2010

Good job, Tom Corbett: now we know you're the corrupt one

Hat tip to a friend who pointed me to Slashdot, which linked to this story:
Harrisburg, Pa. - The state attorney general's office has issued a subpoena threatening officials of the social networking service Twitter with arrest unless they reveal the names of two bloggers who have been critical of Attorney General Tom Corbett and his public corruption investigation.

The subpoena orders Twitter's custodian of records to provide "any and all subscriber information" pertaining to the accounts "bfbarbie" and "CasablancaPA," including name, address, contact information, creation date, and Internet protocol address.

The accounts have criticized Corbett's use of grand juries, suggesting he used the investigations for political gain and to go after political opponents.
The behavior of miserable bastards like Corbett shouldn't surprise us. Though they cloak themselves in the noble goals of "fighting corruption" and "defending the people," it's no different than one mob crew trying to muscle out another.

What few people understand is that a true monopoly comes only with the blessing of government, which uses force to protect the monopoly from competition. What even fewer understand is that government itself pursues a monopoly -- on violence. Even libertarians talk about "the state" as having "a monopoly on the legitimate use of force," and part of my leaving the libertarian camp was realizing the dangerous implications of that reasoning. So it's only natural that within government, various factions will compete with each other over the ability to wield that force.

Friday, May 14, 2010

No, Ms. Census Bitch, you are being difficult, and you can go the hell away

A note to the "lady" that I all but physically threw off our property just now:

You left two slips, and that entitles you to complain that you've been coming "quite often"? Come to think of it, you left your name and a phone number, so how about I track you down and leave litter on your front door? How about I come knocking at 8 p.m. when you're preparing dinner?

It's bad enough that my unwilling taxes pay for your job, but you have to give me a high-and-mighty attitude, accusing me of being difficult?

Yes, you goddamn moron, this address is what you see on the front of the house. What do you really think, we like the number? The street sign is wrong?

There are two people who live here, and that's all you need to know. I don't have ten minutes for you. Just go away and never come back.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kanjorski can shut his goddamn trap anytime now

Kanjorski was enough of an idiot before, claiming the Fed prevented a meltdown when people pulled $500 billion out of U.S. money market instruments. In fact, the money was not sucked out of the U.S. monetary system, but rather put right back in, because people were dumping money markets in favor of safer U.S. Treasury securities.

But that wasn't enough. Now Kanjorski suggests a cyber attack could have been behind last Thursday's crazy sell-off, when there's no evidence at all. Oh, he doesn't "want to cause any panic or fright" -- just start rumors?

Here's a new blend I recommend for him. It's naturally decaffeinated for complete morons like him that need to cut back.

Monday, May 10, 2010

That's a great choice you made for the Supreme Court, Obama!

A few minutes ago, NYC's Fox 5 TV channel broadcasted a soundbite from Elizabeth Holtzman, who said Elana Kagen worked on her 1982 campaign and was so saddened over Holtzman's loss that "she [Kagen] drank vodka and cried."

Yes, that is what she said.

Pat Leahy, ever the damn hypocrite

"The decisions made at the nation's highest court affect the daily lives of all Americans. Our constituents deserve a civil and thoughtful debate on this nomination, followed by an up-or-down vote."

Apparently Leahy doesn't believe that nominees to lower courts deserve the same "up-or-down vote"? He was among the Democrats so solidly opposed to Miguel Estrada that they filibustered him until he withdrew his nomination.

When Alito was nominated, Leahy made the veiled threat, "Filibusters of judicial nominees and in particular of Supreme Court nominees are hardly something new."

But when a president from his party is nominating, the story changes:

"Look, the Constitution says that 51 senators can confirm somebody. It doesn't require 60 senators. I don't think there's going to be any kind of a filibuster. You know, this last year we had about 100 and some-odd filibusters that–totally unprecedented. Actually, that's the lazy person's way out. The American people pay us and, and elect us to vote yes or no, not to vote maybe. Every time you have a filibuster, you're saying, 'I'm not going to vote yes or no, I'm going to vote maybe.' That's irresponsible." - Pat Leahy, April 11, 2010

And earlier this year, he indicated he'd support loosening rules that allow filibusters.

Now here's an interesting Google search result. As of right now, the first hit is:

This morning, following the link yielded a "404 Page not found" error. Then it changed to "403 Forbidden / You do not have access..." Now it's:

Now why would that page have three different results today, and be unaccessible to us? Could it possibly be because of its content, which confirms Leahy is as hypocritical as ever?

Unfortunately for Leahy, Matt Hoy preserved the content for us:
Some Republicans have been taking a quote out of context from Senator Leahy from June 1998 about judicial nominations, replacing his actual words with an ellipse, then distributing it widely and misusing it.

Here is what Republicans keep quoting: "I have stated over and over again ... [ELLIPSE] that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported."

What the Republican talking points omit with their ellipse is the essential context of that quote. Senator Leahy's actual comment was made during floor discussion about AN ANONYMOUS REPUBLICAN HOLD on yet another of President Clinton's nominees. Here was his actual comment:

?I have stated over and over again on this floor that I would refuse to put an anonymous hold on any judge; that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported; that I felt the Senate should do its duty.?
As my father used to say, "Six of one, half a dozen of the other." What difference does it make if it's an anonymous hold, or a Senator supporting a filibuster? This is the equivalent of "I am confident my client will be found not guilty" (as opposed to "My client is innocent") or "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinski."

The irony is that Leahy's Senate site is "Verisign trusted," but Firefox knows better.

And right now, his page is back to:

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The craziest day on Wall Street in a generation?

Oh everyday, it's getting closer
Going faster than a roller coaster...

(click the images to see in the original size)

A friend passed along some comments he saw on Slashdot:

"Frankly, I was more comfortable with the concept that the DOW could drop 1000 points in one afternoon due to some obscure overseas debt concerns than I am the idea that the DOW can drop 1000 points in one afternoon because of a fucking typo. I realize that markets and the economy in general are collective illusions to begin with and all that, but do we really need to be reminded quite so forcefully? Might be time to invest my money in something a little more solid, like canned food and ammunition."

"You might be happier with a Whisky and Prostitutes ETF. Consult your broker today."

"It wasn't a typo, it was Bernie Sanders speaking for an hour on the Senate floor today, pushing for a bill to audit the Fed. Everyone who is anyone knows what we will find if we audit the Fed, and it isn't good. Not just for us, but for the world. Which is why Obama threatened to veto this bill, citing national security. The dollar is the world's reserve currency. If all the plebeians of the world found out how utterly worthless our currency is, we would suffer a crash that would make the last one look like a cake-walk. As for Greece, though, that crisis is actually pushing investors back to America."

It was an interesting afternoon, to say the least. Around a quarter to 5, I checked Yahoo Finance and saw the early reports of a trader making a typo, entering "billion" instead of "million." I don't believe that for a second, because such quantities would be entered as Arabic numerals, not written out.

Then there's the problem of share float. Most stocks don't have billions of shares outstanding. P&G does have about 2.9 billion, but then what happens when orders are actually placed? No single entity would have the billions of shares to sell, and moreover, traders looking to buy would see the number and think, "Uh, something's gotta be wrong there."

Even if a single trade did do all this, the markets would have snapped back much faster. If someone's selling something at a huge discount, then buyers will think "Great!" and start snapping it up. Once the supply is gone, the market price will return to normal. Think of strawberries at a grocery store that are mistakenly priced at 10 cents a pound. Once the error is corrected, whether with that supply or a new supply, the price will snap back.

P&G seems to be the current scapegoat, but that raises a couple of questions. So here's another question. P&G is a component of the DJIA, but even if it were completely wiped out, there are 29 other components. One component could plunge to zero, and the others could be down, say, 5%, yet the DJIA would still be 91.8% of its previous value.

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ had similar drops -- but PG is only 1/500th of the S&P 500, and it isn't part of the NASDAQ 100.

But never mind PG. What happened to ACN?

I can't help but feel something sinister happened today, and not in liberals' anti-capitalist way of blaming evil banks and uncontrollable computer algorithms. Whatever happens, look for Obama and his cronies to take advantage of the situation.

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before."

Update: NASDAQ is cancelling trades from 2:40 to 2:50 on a great many stocks, including ACN. The criterium is if "the quote deviated more than 60 percent away from the consolidated last print in that security at about 2:40 p.m."